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Breastfeeding after 1 year and returning to work

(7 Posts)
Squidgling Fri 06-Nov-15 09:10:53

Hi. I currently breastfeed my DD (8 months old) on demand. This tends to vary from day to day but is roughly every 2-4 hours in the day and once or twice over night. She also feeds to sleep for naps and bedtime/over night (unless we are out with the pushchair or in the car as she will sometimes sleep in those) and then doesn't let me put her down during the day (I usually can at night) so I have to hold her for naps which isn't ideal!

I am due back at work for 3 days a week when DD will be almost 13 months old and she will be going to nursery on those days. I would like to continue breastfeeding her in the morning and at night, and happy to do so during the day perhaps on my days off if that is feasible? I am not sure if, how and when I need to start trying to cut her feeds down in preparation for this? Ideally I would have preferred to be led a little more by her but am worried that if I don't start to gradually cut down it could cause issues for me (I've had blocked ducts and mastitis previously) and upset her when the breast suddenly isn't there on top of being at nursery and without me. Is this the case?

Also I'm worried about getting her to nap without the breast when she is at nursery so think I need to stop feeding to sleep soon but am unsure how to do this.

I would be grateful for any advice people have. Thanks.

RaspberryBlonde Fri 06-Nov-15 13:54:22

I went back to work 4 days a week when my DD was a similar age and we are still BF now at nearly two. She is night weaned now but we do morning and evening on my work days and on demand if I'm at home. I haven't had any issues with blocked ducts etc and the two feeds on working days are usually 12 hours apart (long commute).

You still have quite a long time to go and you'll probably find by the time you return to work she is taking less milk overall anyway. The feeding pattern here changed quite a lot between 8 and 12 months as she got better with solids so you may find even led by her you are down to only a small amount of day time feeds nearer the time.

My suggestion on naps is to make sure she gets a good settling in stretch with nursery. My DD still sometimes feeds to sleep for naps but self settles at the childminder - it took her a while though and was more about her getting used to seeing there generally.

Squidgling Fri 06-Nov-15 18:33:44

Thanks Raspberryblonde, that's reassuring to hear that you didn't have problems feeding so infrequently on work days and then more when at home smile Hopefully we will be able to do something similar when the time comes. DD is already getting better with solids and eating more at each meal so maybe I will start to see a change in her feeding habits soon like you say.

I will speak to the nursery to check what their settling in sessions are like but do you think it's worth putting her into nursery a couple of weeks before I go back to work so that she can do short days at first to get used to it? I wish I didn't have to go back at all and then I wouldn't need to worry about any of this!

MooPointCowsOpinion Fri 06-Nov-15 18:48:31

I've just gone back to work this week, and DD2 is 11 months. She naps for the childminder in the buggy, and eats and drinks happily there. It's great to sit and feed her when we get home, a nice calm way to reconnect.

I would say don't do anything to prepare except have lots of settling in sessions. Your boobs will adjust quickly by that age.

StormyBlue Fri 06-Nov-15 19:03:21

My DS is 13 months, he breastfeeds more than I had planned on at this age, in the morning, before his two naps and before bed time. If I have to leave him with someone else, he is happy to drink water or whole milk through a cup for his drinks although he always seems a bit unsettled when he does this, I'm sure he'd get used to it if he had to do it every day.

He isn't interested in sippy cups so I got him one of those ones with a straw to suck through and he likes that. I broke my water and milk only rule and gave him diluted juice to get him interested in drinking at first but now he will take just water.

RaspberryBlonde Sat 07-Nov-15 07:27:23

i would say spend the extra time with your DD rather than starting nursery early Squidgling, especially if you are not looking forward to returning to work. You are only going to be in three days a week so even if naps are an issue at first you have plenty of days to make up at home. Most of the nurseries near us use short days as part of their settling process.

I sympathise as I was dreading going back to work - it is tough but wasn't anywhere near as bad as I expected.

Squidgling Sat 07-Nov-15 20:11:51

Thank you for all your replies. It sounds as though she should adapt fairly quickly so hopefully it will all work out OK. It's difficult not to worry though isn't it!

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